Betty and Veronica: Friends Forever
Bill Golliher (Story); Rich Koslowski (Inks); Jack Morelli (Letters); Dan Parent (Pencils & Covers); Glenn Whitmore (Colors)
June 12th, 2019
Betty and Veronica: Friends Forever contains a wide variety of stories featuring Riverdale’s other dynamic duo. Covering the Betty and Veronica At the Movies, Betty and Veronica: Travel Tales, Betty and Veronica: Storybook Tales, Betty and Veronica Go to Work and Betty and Veronica: Pets mini-arcs released under the Friends Forever umbrella, the book packs in a lot of Ronnie and Bets for the punch, and had a lot of cute, easygoing and cozy variety for readers who love Ms. Lodge and Ms. Cooper. It will especially appeal to young readers.
Each story offers a different kind of adventure, from full-out alternate universe tales to simple stories set in Riverdale. In Betty and Veronica at the Movies, the girls experience various aspects of moviemaking and viewing, from being invited to a real Hollywood movie set due to Mr. Lodge’s connections (he’s salvaging the budget of Pirates of the Caribbean clone by kicking in some money), to getting caught triple dating across three different movies with two different guys apiece (and one of them is naturally Archie). My favorite story in the volume is “An Un-Living Doll,” in which B&V are stalked by what appears to be an evil talking doll; perfect to read before going to see the new Child’s Play remake.
Travel Tales, naturally, is all about the girls globetrotting on vacation; from day trips to roughing it during a rainstorm to messing around on Hiram’s prototype Martian colony to a cruise adventure in which they help a down-on-his-luck magician regain his footing (the volume’s stand-out tale for its sense of fun, emotion and plotting), every single story takes them to the outer limits of Riverdale.
Storybook Tales does what it says on the tin — and if you love the sight of Veronica and Betty as princesses, this one will be your favorite. Every single one of these contained a charming sense of humor and a unique retelling of the fairy tale, but the best one in the bunch is Veronica as the hypersensitive Princess being prodded in the kidney by a pea who makes it through the night and ends up with the Archiekins of her dreams.
The more uneven At Work features the girls doing a variety of different jobs; in one super Freudian tale, Veronica gets jealous and concerned that Betty’s taking her place in her father’s heart when she starts working as an intern at his company. But if you believe in the hilarious promise of Veronica Lodge dressed in a fast-food restaurant uniform, lamenting the fact that she has to sling chicken for her father’s latest acquisition, then you’ll enjoy it.
Bringing up the rear is Pets, home to the volume’s most heartwarming story (“Shelter Skelter,” where the girls bring some joy into the lives of some shelter pets) and the most bizarre (“Reptile Rendezvous,” in which the girls meet a man who carries a python around on his person and rescues the snake’s meal when they’re invited to the guy’s home). No matter the situation, the girls manage to turn every aspect of their attempts at helping out, having fun, or becoming famous into a disaster by accident. The writing is generally charming and old-fashioned, which has its good points and bad points – in some stories the style feels charmingly nostalgic, sometimes they feel corny and awkward.
There are lots of different adventures to explore here – but their sheer volume means some will be weaker than others. Sometimes Parent’s art comes off as a wee bit stiff-kneed and mannered, with the characters in awkward, mannequin-like poses; sometimes it’s cartoony and fluid. The colors sometimes feel a little slapdash, but the linework by Koslowski is noticeably strong.
If you’re looking for an introduction to the world of these two frenemies, then you might want to start with Senior Year. But for young kids and happily amused adults, this cute miniseries will provide a fun jaunt.